MLB Free Agency Rumors: Josh Donaldson’s Personality Could Be Factor
Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson
Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports

As the MLB free agent hot stove begins to heat up, one of the names to keep an eye on is third baseman Josh Donaldson, who had a bounce-back season with the Atlanta Braves in 2019.

Donaldson has accumulated plenty of accolades in his career, being named an All-Star three times in addition to winning the 2015 American League MVP Award while with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 33-year-old additionally has dealt with some injuries though, which forced him to sign a one-year deal with the Braves last offseason to re-establish his value on the market, and he was able to do exactly that.

The top free agents available this winter include Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon. Donaldson is perhaps the next-best player available, particularly for teams in search of a third baseman that fall short of earning Rendon’s services.

Before signing Donaldson though, one thing teams will have to consider is his personality. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Braves went through a bit of an adjustment period after signing him due to his loud and intense personality on and off the field:

As the Braves discovered, Donaldson can be a bit of an acquired taste — as one club source put it, “he’s loud, in your face, an alpha who will test the room.” He went through an adjustment period in Atlanta, and Freddie Freeman talked with him at one point about better fitting into the clubhouse, the source said. But Donaldson eventually found his niche, and the Braves came to relish his daily intensity and competitiveness.

One team that has shown significant interest in Donaldson this offseason is the Los Angeles Dodgers. They have also been linked to Rendon but have been unwilling to sign players to long-term contracts in the past, so Donaldson could be a solid backup option.

If the Dodgers were to sign a third baseman, Justin Turner is reportedly open to moving to the right side of the infield, which would help solve a long jam.

As far as Donaldson’s personality, the Dodgers have a lot of quiet players in their clubhouse, so they may actually benefit from adding someone like him to the mix. Couple that with his on-field production and the potential to sign him to a two or three-year contract, and the dots are beginning to connect for Donaldson to end up in Los Angeles at the end of the winter.

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